With the arrival of spring, we’re closer to the best season in The Land. No, not just summer — summer concert season (although summer’s pretty great, too). Not only does this mean outdoor venues like Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica and Blossom Music Center are open for business again, but some of the biggest arena tours and festivals are also coming our way.
Here’s a sampling of shows coming to Cleveland you need to make room for on your spring and summer calendar.
Call off work, put on your most comfortable shoes and your most “lived-in” jeans — it’s Boss time. In other words, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band are returning to Cleveland for the first time since 2016. This time around, the legendary rock ‘n’ rollers are bringing a horn section and performing some soul covers from Springsteen’s latest album, “Only the Strong Survive.” E Street are known for their epic-length shows and unexpected setlist audibles, however, so anything is possible.
The production and staging in arena shows is always top-notch, although there’s also something to be said for seeing a virtuoso artist and lyrical miracle like Lil Wayne in a more intimate space. In fact, here’s your chance to see the legendary rapper in a much smaller venue than he’s typically played here. Judging by his recent Rolling Loud California set — which featured more than 30 songs, ending with “A Milli” — you’ll walk away from the show more than satisfied.
“Am I ready to be loved?” Lizzo asks on her massive 2022 hit, appropriately called “2 Be Loved.” We suspect the answer will be a resounding “YES” at her first concert in The Land since becoming a massive star. (It’s about damn time she played here…see what I did there?) Expect high-energy choreography, some onstage flute playing, and plenty of positive vibes all around.
I guess this is growing up? After touring and recording in recent years with Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba, blink-182 have mended fences with guitarist/vocalist Tom DeLonge for a massive reunion tour. Time apart hasn’t changed the trio’s cheeky sense of humor — expect to hear plenty of decidedly NSFW off-color jokes — or dulled the impact of hits like “What’s My Age Again?” and “All the Small Things.” BYO c—hain wallet and JNCOs.
The Flaming Lips are known for their incredible live shows — concerts that have included people dressed up in furry animal costumes and frontman Wayne Coyne climbing over the audience in a clear, human-sized ball. At their June Agora show, the band is playing 2002’s psychedelic-pop classic Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots in full, so it’s safe to say you can go ahead and —expect the unexpected.
How popular is bluegrass sensation Billy Strings? He’s doing not one, but two shows in Cleveland. The hype is deserved: Between his wise-beyond-his-years voice and incredible guitar technique — along with a barnstorming live show — Strings is the real deal.
Have your snacks and tunes ready to go? Weezer’s summer tour, dubbed the Indie Rock Road Trip, is rolling into Blossom Music Center in June, and pals Modest Mouse and Momma are riding shotgun. Expect a night full of your favorite ‘90s and ‘00s jams — along with some new tunes that’ll be sure to make your 2023 summer playlist.
There’s a little something for everyone at the annual Wonderstruck Festival. While headliner Khalid favors R&B/hip-hop and Walker Hayes is a country sensation, the rest of the lineup boasts hip-hop icons (Flo Rida, Nelly), stellar rock bands (The Struts, Coin, The Beaches), pop artists (Aly & AJ), and genre-blurring solo acts (Ingrid Andress, Paris Jackson) along with arts and culinary adventures abound.
Who’s that girl? The Material Girl is embarking on a tour celebrating her entire career, so expect a setlist including not just her ‘80s megahits, but all of her musical twists, turns, evolutions and rebellions — and, knowing Madonna, plenty of surprises. Strike a pose and tag it #thisiscle while you’re at it.
Picture it: The weather’s warm, the sun is setting, ships are sailing by on the river — and Australian dance-pop sensations Rüfüs Du Sol are gliding through an ecstatic set of beat-heavy electronica. Grab those GA tickets now, so you’ll have room to dance on the floor.